APIA Leichhardt FC’s experienced defender Themba Muata-Marlow has stated that his side will not be underestimating Capital Football NPL outfit Tigers FC after the two teams were drawn to face each in the round of 32 of the prestigious FFA Cup on Thursday evening.
“We aren’t too familiar with our opponents as we’ve not played against them in recent history but regardless, we never underestimate anyone especially in the FFA Cup and we’ll have some time now to do a little research on them as we know they’ll be well up for this clash.
“I believe it’ll be at their home so we will have to be prepared for that as it’s never easy playing away anywhere you go.”
With all NSW Football leagues suspended due to COVID restrictions but the football continuing in the ACT, the task will no doubt have grown a touch harder for the Inner West club but Muata-Marlow understands the importance this match means for him and his fellow troops.
“It’s always been an exciting competition for us at APIA as we have had some really enjoyable interstate trips and matches throughout the past few years,” Muata-Marlow stated.
“Reaching the round of 32 of the FFA Cup is always massive for the club because it puts us in the spotlight as we’ve seen in the past being drawn against A-League opponents like Melbourne Victory and Adelaide United which is what the Cup is all about.
“Aside from that coverage, we have made a name for ourselves over the past 3 or so years as a strong outfit so it’s also important for us collectively to maintain our own standards in that regard to ensure we remain as one of the top Australian clubs in the country.”
Currently sitting second on the Capital Football NPL ladder, Tigers FC Head Coach Ryan Grogan was happy with the draw.
“We were confident that whoever we drew we were going to take it to them,” he stated on Capital Football’s NPL page.
“So last night was more about getting it out of the way, and then over the next few weeks focusing on putting together a plan to take them down.
“I have a fair bit of footage to go through now that we know our opponent, I’ve watched a fair bit of APIA over the last couple of years having previously been in the NPL NSW Competition.
“I know they’re a good side, they’re a good club, they’ve been quite successful over the last five, six, seven years, so it’s going to be a good challenge and we’re looking forward to it.”
The likes of attackers Antoni Timotheou, Josh Gulevski and Nik Popovich will most certainly be the ones to watch as will defenders Ross Costanzo and Lachlan Griffiths who will need to be at their very best in holding out APIA’s attacking force of Peter Kekeris, Sean Symons and co at bay.
Tigers FC’s Nijong Oval has been known to the ACT football locals in recent years as a fortress for opposing sides which APIA will need to prepare themselves for when they make that chilly trip down South.
Details of the match will be announced by Football Australia shortly.